Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Insurgent - Veronica Roth

Insurgent is the second book in the Divergent trilogy.  Don't  read this review if you haven't read the first book.  Read this instead.

Summary:  One choice can transform you -- or it can destroy you.  But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves -- and herself -- while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors.  War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows.  And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable -- and even more powerful.  Transformed by her own decisions but also haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.  (Summary from book - Image from

My Review:  Insurgent is the much anticipated, heart-stopping sequel to Divergent, a popular YA dystopian novel by Veronica Roth.  I loved Divergent (see my rave review) and snapped up Insurgent the day it was released.  I'd heard rumors that the author chose not to "recap" (drop little hints into the first few chapters to remind the reader of what happened in the previous novel) so before I opened Insurgent I read this so that I could refresh my memory.  If it's been a while since you've read Divergent, I highly recommend you do the same.

Since I am supposed to be "resting" for the latter part of my pregnancy, I took advantage of my supine state and read Insurgent in less than a day -- if you don't count the time spent sleeping, wrangling a two-year-old, fighting reflux, the restroom.  It was fabulous!   

In Insurgent, Tris and her friends are wanted rebels, on the run from the Erudite faction and Dauntless traitors.  Over the course of the novel, they spend time in several different factions and Tris comes to better understand the characteristics and customs of the faction members, while at the same time developing the facets of her own Divergence.  As the factions descend into open rebellion, people who wouldn't ordinarily interact are thrown together in unexpected ways with astonishing results.  I was particularly interested in the idiosyncrasies of each group, their beliefs, strengths, and weaknesses, and how characters from different factions interacted.

Tris and Tobias are remarkably strong characters -- stubborn, supportive, independent, and self-sacrificing -- in spite of their separate internal struggles.  In Insurgent, their romantic relationship felt like it had evolved past infatuation and into something deeper. Don't worry, while that part of their relationship was forced to the back burner because of the gravity of their situation, there were still some rather steamy moments amidst all the chaos.

Insurgent is full of surprises, including (but not limited to) a traitor, an ally, a devastating choice, and an ending that I did not see coming.  While Roth does leave readers with some resolution, the final pages of this book form a delicious cliffhanger that left me with more questions than answers.  I loved it! I assure you, come hell or high water, I will be reading the next book.  Just try to stop me.

My Rating: 5 Stars

For the sensitive reader:  There was violence in this novel, and it was often shocking, but I felt it was necessary to the story and so it really didn't bother me.  I have no idea if there was any profanity in this book. I don't remember any and I was too lost in the story for it to even register.  I'd like to think I would have noticed the Big Ones though.  Tris's romantic relationship does become more intimate (think making out in overly large t-shirt, but I never did get the sense that they took their relationship to the next level.  You know, that level.  I suppose they could have, but it was never explicit (or explicit).

Sum it up:  Fans of Divergent probably won't need to be told to pick up this book.  If you haven't read either novel yet (what are you doing reading this review...don't you LISTEN?!), and you're not bothered by anything in my sensitive reader section, I suggest you buy them together.  You can thank me later.

1 comment:

Love SMS said...


Divergent was Veronica Roth's debut YA novel. But despite it being the first book she had ever written, she did a fantastic job! I thought: 'It can't get any better than this!', but boy, was I wrong! Insurgent exceeded ALL my expectations!

The story continues right where Divergent left off. Dauntless and Abnegation are in shambles. Conflicting ideologies among the factions have led them to the brink of war. Sides have to be chosen, shocking secrets will emerge as will betrayals. The choices Tris makes could put not just her life on the line, but the lives of the people she loves.

In my opinion, the book was written really well. Veronica's style of writing is simple, almost conversational, but now and then there comes a hauntingly poignant statement which etches itself onto your mind permanently. These little statements make a massive impact on the book and they just take her style of writing up a notch. The plot was excellent, well executed with enough twists and turns to leave me reeling. By the end of the book, I had goosebumps and a feeling of 'OH-MY-GOD-I-NEED-THE-NEXT-BOOK-RIGHT-NOW!!!!!' It ends with a cliffhanger which just upped the stakes if you ask me.

I liked the fact that Veronica didn't introduce too many new characters here. The focus was mainly on Tris And Four(Tobias). Their relationship grows as their characters mature. It's fascinating to watch them because they complement one another perfectly, yet they give each other enough space to be their own person. Tris has got to be one of the strongest leading female characters in YA-Dystopian history. Her character has been shaped wonderfully in this this book, and I can;t wait to see more of her in the third book of this series.

All in all, I would say that fans of The Hunger Games or Young Adult books in general will adore this series. It is an exhilarating read and a definite favourite on my bookshelf. Enjoy! :)


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